Selling a home is a complicated process, but our team breaks down the process into easy-to-navigate steps, offloading most of the work from you so you can focus on your move. Here are some of the areas where we feel that we stand out during the selling process.
You never need to wonder how we came up with our suggested offer price, as we show you the math! For each home you are interested in, we will deliver an analysis of the comparable sales on a detailed spreadsheet that shows you just how your prospective home compares to the recent sales, and how much monetary value is placed on each of the differences. We do not rely upon the price-per-square-foot figure, as it does not take into account important qualitative factors, like the condition, view, layout, noise, light or outdoor space. Our advice is based on a detailed analysis of the historic data mixed with an understanding of the current market and competitive environment. For us, comps are a both art and science.
Don’t worry, we won’t just throw a 200- to 1000-page disclosure package over the fence and expect you to understand everything. We operate on the assumption that our clients know nothing. We do a deep dive into the disclosure package, ask clarifying questions of the sellers and listing agent, let you know what is normal and what is not normal, and where there is potential risk. We’re not just reading what is written, we are also reading between the lines, paying attention for vague wording that could be misinterpreted, looking for contradictory information, and drawing upon our years of experience to know when something just doesn’t add up. Here are some real-world examples of things we have discovered from our disclosure reviews:
Our buyer purchased a single family home in a neighborhood with a homeowners association. All of the exterior windows were replaced with a completed permit by the seller prior to listing the home, so the Department of Building Inspection approved the windows. However, we knew that this neighborhood association also had to approve the windows, so we made sure we had a contingency in the contract that required the seller to confirm that the HOA had approved the windows. It turned out that the seller did not receive the necessary permission from the HOA and all of the brand-new windows had to be replaced with HOA-approved materials. This effort cost the seller $40,000, a cost that would have been borne by the buyer clients after closing escrow had we not caught this lack of permission and written the clause into our offer.
We always check to make sure the advertised parking space in a condo building is the actual parking space that is deeded or assigned to the unit. In one case, the condo map did not include the page with the garage. The title company told us that this page was not available, so we called the surveyor who drew up the condo map years before. They provided us with the condo map, and we found out that the advertised parking space was not, in fact, the one that was deeded to this unit. In the end, our client got a much better parking space!
After seeing several “clues”, such as extra thick/plush carpeting in the bedrooms, security cameras throughout the building, and a blocked-off staircase between the two units in this condo building, we were suspicious. We researched the other owner in the building and found out that she had filed not just one lawsuit against the current owners/sellers, but also multiple prior owners of the unit that was for sale. We advised our clients to walk away, and we found them a much better home.
A buyer fell in love with a single family home that had a big open garage where he could put his woodworking shop. The house was built in the 1920’s, so we knew it wasn’t originally built with a big open garage. There were telltale signs that modifications were done… lighter colored cement squares on the garage floor where vertical support posts were removed… a laminated header beam that was not used in 1920’s construction. We checked the building permit history report to see when these alterations were made, but there was no mention of the new support beam. We checked the seller disclosures (they had owned the house for over 40 years) and found nothing. When we asked the agent about this work, they let us know that the sellers forgot to include this work on their disclosures, and that they did the work themselves. Apparently, they were very handy. This was a big red flag because this beam carried the weight of the entire house, and there was no way to retroactively determine if it was properly engineered for the job. I convinced my client to walk away. Not only could the house be structurally unsound, but it could also have affected his re-sale process down the line.
The time it takes a buyer to purchase a home has ranged anywhere from 3 days of meeting us to 7 years! Everyone searches at their own pace, but more than 50% of our buyers have had their first offer accepted.
You’ve got questions and we can’t wait to answer them.